There is the mode of cause and effect that sweeps its way through life, taking no prisoners. What we are exposed to affects us, and none of us live in a vacuum. If we have been sexually, physically, or psychologically abused as children, is it any wonder that we will have an intense distrust for adult and power figures? Is it any surprise that if we have suffered the routine and continuous betrayal of an adult attachment figure (or a string of them) that we might not trust humanity at all, and even have hatred for people?
Hurt people hurt people.
Most really hurt people were hurt as a function of having no control over such circumstances that damaged them. More importantly than ever it is the hurt person – the one that hurts people – who needs our tolerance of love. This is especially the case regarding a person who does not want to hurt people, but cannot help doing so.
Everyone is who they are for good reason. If someone has a particular issue – that trust is hard or even impossible – then it’s probably that that person’s trust has been betrayed time and time again.
If we can love a person who appears to us to be unlovable we overcome fear and we give them a chance of seeing love through us. Even better than this, they might see grace at work.
Grace transcends what we can do. When we are willing to step forth in faith to love someone, God adds to our spiritual contingent the item of grace that serves as a miracle.
When we can understand a person’s character and personality have been shaped by their experiences, then we have the wisdom to believe they can be rebuilt and restored.
Everyone deserves a second chance. And when we can conjure a possibility like that with anyone in our midst, then we are ready to love. The theology of the second chance is the gospel message in a nutshell.
If God can love each of us despite our flaws, we can love the next person despite theirs.
Love is something that will win the day, every day. Love cannot be conquered, and grace is something that will always transcend the explainable.
It is up to us to love and to embody grace, by continuing to honour God in giving people the second chances they both need and, because of grace, deserve.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.